A few weeks ago…
I was approached by a leader within a local congregation. While his faith community’s Sunday worship presence was relatively still strong, the church’s massive building and education center, now almost fully vacant except for Sundays, was proving to be a headache and financial burden for the church to carry. They needed some support, imagination and, if possible, a new tenant (or ten).
A week following this introduction, I was approached by someone within my networks representing a community-facing organization who was looking for roughly 10,000 square feet of space to rent. As she was describing the space they were looking for, their preferred location and amenities, all I could think about was this church I had just toured.
So I made some calls and got connected to the appropriate trustees responsible for making decisions on behalf of this church and its building. It was a match made in heaven, lining up to be a great opportunity for the community organization, all the while generating substantial streams of sustainability for the congregation. A perfect fit!
Except for one thing...
This community organization did not practice the brand of Christianity proclaimed by the church. There wasn’t a misalignment in values; no, simply doctrine getting in the way of dignity. The church quickly declined the opportunity.
I’m a firm believer that fit matters. I also believe, and have seen, Christians make mountains out of mole hills. When it comes to our space, and the hundreds of billions of dollars in underutilized value it represents, I’m also a firm believer that the more we can open our doors to our neighbors—regardless of the language they speak, zip code they reside, documentation status they may or may not have or God they may or may not profess—the better witness we are and the better neighbor we become.
Situations like the one I described above happen more often than you’d think. And it’s a loss for everyone involved.
Let’s open our doors, friends. We might be surprised to see how much love comes rushing in.
LOOKING FOR SPACE?
Or know of a someone who might be? We’d love to talk! Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to connect and let’s dream more together.